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Insight | Time: May 17 2022 1:28PM  Editor:Louis Zou
Force majeure leads to US acetic acid shortage
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Asian PX prices spiked last week as Asia to US arbitrage spread widened. It is heard that US purchased about 40-50kt of PX from Asia. As a result, Asian PX-naphtha spread widened to $367/mt on May 13, new high in more than 2 years.


Besides from PX supply shortage in the US, acetic acid was also in short supply. Celanese and INEOS announced force majeure on their acetic acid plants in the US due to plant issue or feedstock disruption. Acetic acid supply deficit exacerbated with the plants all shut, and cargoes to Europe were slashed.


In terms of acetic acid capacity, US comes second, taking 17% of global total capacity.


Company Capacity (kt/yr) Status
US Lyondell 600 Maintenance from Apr 15 for 1 month, remaining shut
US Celanese 1500 Shut on May 10 due to force majeure
US INEOS 800 Shut on May 10 due to force majeure


According to the trading flow, US exported 542kt of acetic acid throughout 2021. Main destinations included Mexico, Belgium, Brazil and Canada, receiving 50%, 21%, 15% and 9% of US acetic acid exports. If the shutdowns of plants in the US extends, supplies to those regions could get affected.


PTA capacity amounts to 6.25 million mt/yr in Americas. With the plants running at full swing, monthly production could reach 520kt, with requirement for 18kt acetic acid a month. Meanwhile, there's 1.4 million mt/yr PTA capacity in Belgium. If there's not enough inflows of acetic acid from other regions, PTA plant operation could be affected.

[RISK DISCLAIMER] All opinions, news, analysis, prices or other information contained on this report is provided by analyst of Zhejiang Huarui Information Consulting Co., Ltd (CCFGroup) as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. CCFGroup will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.
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